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Candor

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Listen to This Message

The most compelling aspect of Candor is less about the rigid life inhabitants are forced to live at the hands of Mr. Banks and more about the father son dynamic that his control creates. Instead of allowing his son to grieve the loss of several family members, instead o...
The most compelling aspect of Candor is less about the rigid life inhabitants are forced to live at the hands of Mr. Banks and more about the father son dynamic that his control creates. Instead of allowing his son to grieve the loss of several family members, instead of creating a relationship built on that common ground Mr. Banks forces Oscar to rebel against unusual circumstances in a less than ordinary way.

Compelled to fight for free will not just for himself but for his classmates as well Oscar's main foe is the one person he should be relying on most. In this way Oscar is actually a true teenager as he sneaks around and tries to keep his father at bay. The difference being the consequences of success or failure are much more extreme than the typical teenage rebellion about music or grades or selection of friends.

What is most interesting is that it is in Oscar's final selfless gesture to the only person who he felt understood him, the only person he wanted to share his time and his life with, that the father-son relationship that Mr. Banks so longed for is solidified. It is in this act that Oscar becomes everything he never wanted.

It is this element of the story that had the greatest and most profound impact.

Written with an understated eloquence and subtlty Bachorz created an eerily robotic and somewhat disconcerting burg in Candor. The characters were over the top perky and conscientious yet rarely annoying to the reader. They exhibited traits of perfection, they were the ultimate in submission and all the while small traces of individuality leaked through in desperate attempts to show that there were still people in the mindless bodies created by Mr. Banks.

The irony of it all was that Mr. Banks ended up being the most robotic and least feeling character of them all. In his desperation to forget his wife and oldest son he lost all ability to effectively communicate, he lost the ability to discern right from wrong, and ultimately he became so mired in denial and avoidance that he was no longer able to do more than provide a service to community members. He got from point A to point B by controlling every aspect of everyone's life.

Another interesting, and quite ironic, element of the story I truly enjoyed was the fact that Oscar used the same means his father undertook to try and preserve individuality. His own mind control tapes were designed to keep people themselves but in doing so he irradiated the true meaning of individuality and free will. There was still someone controlling their lives.

One of the things I adored most about this book was that Bachorz wasn't afraid to take risks. Most particularly in how she handled the end. Without spoiling what exactly that ending is the result of Oscar's hard work against his father was shocking in a way that has the ability to make a person weep. Done with great emotion and tremendous realism Bachorz creates a satisfying resolution that makes me yearn for more. Despite having heard of no plans for a sequel I can see there is definitely room to revisit Oscar and Nia. I'd love to get a peak of what happened to each and where they are now.

If you like dystopian fare that is less about fantasy and the end of the world then definitely pick up a copy of Candor it's a fabulously interesting and thought provoking read.

posted by Galleysmith on January 26, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I was expecting more...

I'm on the fence about Candor. I thought the premise of the book had such potential but it just ended up being a boy meets girl kind of story. Oscar was the only character that I liked. I couldn't even grow to like Nia that much...even though I was rooting for her. I wa...
I'm on the fence about Candor. I thought the premise of the book had such potential but it just ended up being a boy meets girl kind of story. Oscar was the only character that I liked. I couldn't even grow to like Nia that much...even though I was rooting for her. I wanted more to happen with the plot. The ending was a suprise. Candor is a descent read while waiting for your next favorite sequel to come out.

posted by 1762549 on December 13, 2009

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Listen to This Message

    The most compelling aspect of Candor is less about the rigid life inhabitants are forced to live at the hands of Mr. Banks and more about the father son dynamic that his control creates. Instead of allowing his son to grieve the loss of several family members, instead of creating a relationship built on that common ground Mr. Banks forces Oscar to rebel against unusual circumstances in a less than ordinary way.

    Compelled to fight for free will not just for himself but for his classmates as well Oscar's main foe is the one person he should be relying on most. In this way Oscar is actually a true teenager as he sneaks around and tries to keep his father at bay. The difference being the consequences of success or failure are much more extreme than the typical teenage rebellion about music or grades or selection of friends.

    What is most interesting is that it is in Oscar's final selfless gesture to the only person who he felt understood him, the only person he wanted to share his time and his life with, that the father-son relationship that Mr. Banks so longed for is solidified. It is in this act that Oscar becomes everything he never wanted.

    It is this element of the story that had the greatest and most profound impact.

    Written with an understated eloquence and subtlty Bachorz created an eerily robotic and somewhat disconcerting burg in Candor. The characters were over the top perky and conscientious yet rarely annoying to the reader. They exhibited traits of perfection, they were the ultimate in submission and all the while small traces of individuality leaked through in desperate attempts to show that there were still people in the mindless bodies created by Mr. Banks.

    The irony of it all was that Mr. Banks ended up being the most robotic and least feeling character of them all. In his desperation to forget his wife and oldest son he lost all ability to effectively communicate, he lost the ability to discern right from wrong, and ultimately he became so mired in denial and avoidance that he was no longer able to do more than provide a service to community members. He got from point A to point B by controlling every aspect of everyone's life.

    Another interesting, and quite ironic, element of the story I truly enjoyed was the fact that Oscar used the same means his father undertook to try and preserve individuality. His own mind control tapes were designed to keep people themselves but in doing so he irradiated the true meaning of individuality and free will. There was still someone controlling their lives.

    One of the things I adored most about this book was that Bachorz wasn't afraid to take risks. Most particularly in how she handled the end. Without spoiling what exactly that ending is the result of Oscar's hard work against his father was shocking in a way that has the ability to make a person weep. Done with great emotion and tremendous realism Bachorz creates a satisfying resolution that makes me yearn for more. Despite having heard of no plans for a sequel I can see there is definitely room to revisit Oscar and Nia. I'd love to get a peak of what happened to each and where they are now.

    If you like dystopian fare that is less about fantasy and the end of the world then definitely pick up a copy of Candor it's a fabulously interesting and thought provoking read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2014

    Candor was a thrilling novel that kept me at the edge of my seat

    Candor was a thrilling novel that kept me at the edge of my seat. The suspense was amazing, and the concept was horrifying. This novel brings up several social norms and values, each one being similar to something I heard during my life: “The great are never late;” “Respectful space in every place;” “Academics are the key to success.” Innocent enough, right? That’s what I loved. In this town, things are really not what they seem. And it actually makes you wonder, “What if?” What if you had no choice? What if you were forced to conform? These thoughts sent shivers through me while I read Candor. A perfect town? Brainwashed teens? Losing one’s identity? It’s my perfect nightmare, which is why it hooked me into the plot in the first place.

    And that’s also why I love Oscar and Nia. They were the sore thumb that stuck out in this town. Oscar is a great main character. You can slip right into his head: see what he sees, feel what he feels. I felt for him throughout the entire novel as he tries to protect not only himself, but Nia as well. As for Nia, I loved her rebellious behavior. Her attitude was spicy, always looking for trouble. She and Oscar were a perfect fit, and the romance between them was just heartwarming.

    There was really only thing that disappointed me. For a book with such thrills and chills, there was absolutely no mystery to how the book was going to end. No surprising twists. No unexpected turn of events. It ended just as I figured it would. However, it did not take away from the fact that it was a good read.

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    Candor was a really good book. There are a lot of really good ch

    Candor was a really good book. There are a lot of really good characters and some interesting plot twists. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to a teenager.

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    My 7th grade daughter and I just read it after hearing Pam Bacho

    My 7th grade daughter and I just read it after hearing Pam Bachorz speak at a local book festival.  She told the audience that the town Candor was inspired by Celebration, Florida where she lived for a while.  Celebration is a planned community built by Disney.  Look it up.  Look at the photo gallery on their website...the fountain, the lake, the flagpole and bricks are all there.  Everything in the pictures looks perfect.  Makes reading the story even more eerie.  The ending...not what I was hoping for at all.  Don't know that a sequel could be written...unless Nia comes back...  I don't see how this would fit an AP Eng class but it certainly fits in a Utopia/Dystopia unit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Surprisingly good

    I was worried that the plot was too unoriginal, but i was happily wrong. The characters were believable and the ending was a great twist to what could have been another cliched romance novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Candor

    This was a decent book. It is more of a girly book than abook for guys. Other than that the book was okay.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thumbs up!

    The book Canodor by Pam Bachorz is a great book. It has some detail about the main conflict, but other than that it was an amazing book. I love that he has a " Partner in crime" but the ending does not make any sense.(At least in my eyes) Did she make it? Where did she go? Too many questions that were left unanswered. But other than the unanswered questions it was a great book!It had a little of everything in it, romance, thrilling moments, & has some pretty descpriptive material in it. I would recomend it for anyone that likes a good mystery at the end.
    I say thumbs up for Candor!

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Quick and Entertaining

    The town of Candor is home to the perfect teenagers. Homework is always done on time, and grades are nothing but the best. But there's something different about candor, and Oscar has figured out what makes this place so "special". People come to Candor to change, to become who their parents have always wanted. But what makes these kids so perfect? Read to find out what happens when Oscar falls in love with NIa and is not willing to let Candor change her.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    awesome!!

    i loved this book but hated the ending..there needs to be a sequel

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought-Provoking Literary Debut

    Candor, Pam Bachorz's debut novel, certainly offers food for thought. It also offers a highly suspenseful, enjoyable read that will leave you guessing till the end. Candor is about the perfect town of Candor, Florida. The teens here are studious, respectful, and always do as they're told. The lawns are perfectly manicured and there is no graffiti to be found. But the seemingly idylic Candor is holding a dark secret. The people behave the way they do because of the subliminal messages traveling through the air that controls their every action. The citizens of Candor are perfect because they can't be anything but. And they don't have a clue. The only one who knows this secret is Oscar Banks, the son of the town's founder.

    We meet Oscar when he has been fighting the subliminal messages for years while maintaining his good boy facade. He runs a business of smuggling new rich kids out of Candor before they've been completely brain-washed. He's resigned to his life until he meets Nia. She is different and she understands him. Oscar wants to keep her in his life instead of helping her out of Candor. But will keeping Nia close mean allowing her to become brain-washed and possibly threaten his secret?

    Candor is a fast-paced novel that is part gripping sci-fi story, part romance. I really liked Oscar, the story's narrator and protaganist. I really wanted to find out what happened to him and Nia. The storyline is gripping and it is told well, hurtling towards a shocking conclusion. Candor is a book you won't want to miss.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Candor is enjoyable

    This book was a very enjoyable read. I really liked the marketing aspects of the coordinating podcasts. What a unique experience to add to reading this book. I would love to see Ms. Bachorz write more to the story but I have not heard that she is. There are so many good reads in the YA genre right now in this is definitely one that should be passed around.

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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This may souond silly but...

    I think the fact that candor caught my eye was because of his face (ill admit , and it's orange , ilove orange!!!), but the fact that i love plots like"odd one out" type of thing.
    BTW...my name IS Nia forreal...the character reminds me of me in a weird way... -_-
    R3@D !T GOOD BOOK

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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